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In the north of the Netherlands there are six islands of which five can be visited. Texel is the largest and only one that can be visited by car. Next is Vlieland, Terschelling, Ameland and Schiermonnikoog all of them can only be discovered by bike or public transportation. Because of this these islands are less popular by tourist but more to the birds. With our tours we concentrate on the island of Texel (by car) or Schiermonnikoog (only by foot, bike or public transport), if you like to visit one or more of the other islands it's always possible.
Texel is the most popular of the islands and has more different habitats. There's also a high density of birders so there are lots of good recent sightings. In spring and summer you'll find a list of interesting breeding birds like Little, Sanswich, Common and Arctic Tern, Spoonbill, Marsh Harrier, Avocet, Black-tailed Godwit, Redshank, Lapwing, Oystercatcher, Common and Little Ringed Plover. Along the North Sea coast are very nice dunes with lakes and heather. Along the lakes you'll find different warblers f.e. Bluethroat, Sedge Warbler and Reed Warbler and at the heather breeds Wood Lark, Stonechat, Tree Pipit and recently also Nightjar. During migration interesting species turn up Dotterels can be seen on the fields often with Golden Plovers and Common Rosefinch is recorded every year. In autumn many birders visit the island because of the migrants and good possibility a vagrant turns up. It's also not as busy with tourists anymore so you can walk around enjoying the birds scanning the flocks of Goldcrest, Firecrests, Blue and Great Tits for that Yellow-browed Warbler. Later more geese arrive to forage on the fields with Brant, Barnacle Goose, Greater White-fronted Goose, Tundra Bean Goose and Greylag Goose. Along the Wadden Sea coastline you'll find flocks of wintering Eiders, Black-necked Grebes and waders like Dunlins, Curlews and Bar-tailed Godwits.
Shiermonnikoog is the easternmost island and probably the most prestine. If you would like to see and photograph geese at close range this is the best spot. There's a network of (cycling)paths that allows you to get close to the flocks of geese. Among the many Barnacle Geese and Brent there's a good chance to find Red-breasted Geese. Last couple of years a family group returns here every winter. A good look at the flocks of Brent Geese might provide a White-bellied or Black Brent. Besides the geese in late autumn, the island can be packed with birds that crossed the North Sea from Norway and find the first land here. The gardens with apple trees are full with Fieldfares, Blackbirds, Redwings and with luck Waxwings feed on the apples. In spring you can find Bar-tailed Godwits with Whimbrels feeding on earthworms on the meadows in their breeding plumage. These are nog the only waders in summer plumage, outside on the mudflats you can see Grey Plover, Knot, Curlew Sandpiper, Sanderling, and Dunlin. The fields with cattle attract migratings like Yellow Wagtails, Northern Wheatears, Whinchats and Ring Ouzel.